Avoiding Vegetarian Pitfalls

vegetarian-pitfallsI hope you’re ready for this one because a LOT of vegetarians are about to be SHOCKED (and maybe even disgusted) by what I’m about to reveal.

Everyday there are millions of vegetarians and even vegan dieters who are unknowingly consuming animal products – and even meat! Yes, that’s right; there are many hidden animal products in our diet.

Here are some common vegetarian foods that contain non-vegetarian ingredients:


  • May contain animal fats. Look for vegetable fat


  • Some bakers grease the tins with animal fat.
  • Look for vegetable based emulsifiers (E471, E472)


  • May contain animal fat.


  • Most cheeses are produced using animal rennet.
  • Look for non-animal based vegetarian cheese.

Chewing Gum

  • May contain glycerine that may have been produced from animal fats.


  • May contain whey and animal emulsifiers.

French Fries

  • May be fried in animal fat.


  • Mostly derived from animals (beef).
  • Vegetarian gelatin include Agar Agar, Carrageen and sea-weeds.


  • May be produced from animal fats.

Ice Cream

  • May contain eggs and gelatin that may have been produced from animal fats.


  • Most contain gelatin that may have been produced from proteins in animal bones and skin.


  • May contain animal fats, vitamin D3, whey, gelatin, etc.


  • May contain eggs.


  • May contain animal fat and/or egg

Pill Capsules

  • Mostly made from gelatin.

Potato Chips

  • May contain whey for flavoring.


  • Vegetable soups may be processed on the same equipment that process meats.


  • Whey is a byproduct of the cheese which is made by animal rennet.

Worcester Sauce

  • Usually contains anchovies.

Scary Note! When you order a vegetarian pizza or a vegetarian sub, be prepared to accept a few pieces of non-vegetarian foods. Restaurant workers don’t change the gloves for making a vegetarian sub/pizza after they’ve just made a meat version (unless you ask them).

How to Avoid Eating Too Much Sodiumsodium

When I was working with fitness expert Craig Ballantyne on his vegetarian diet, I found he was making a common mistake. Like most “lazy vegetarians”, Craig was eating a lot of foods from a can, such as Amy’s Organic Chili, black beans, and kidney beans.

However, these are all high-sodium foods, so you need to check the LABELS and compare the amount of sodium per serving with your daily recommended intake.

This goes for ALL pre-packaged foods, including pasta, oatmeal, cereals, and anything else that comes in a bag or a box with a label!

How to Avoid a Boring Vegetarian Diet

Don’t worry; it’s easy to eat a wide variety of foods and meals when on the Veggie Lifestyle. And that’s important not only for your taste buds but for your health, too.

One way to get VARIETY is to eat fruit and vegetables that are in season because they tend to have more nutrients since they are allowed to ripen on the plant longer, and because they are from local farms (which mean fewer resources are used to get to you).

There are SO MANY ways to create variety.

Think of the staple foods in the world. They are all basically the same staples; rice, flour, beans…Each country cooks and seasons these same foods in their own unique way.

Rice could be curried rice, paella, fried rice, saffron rice, etc… beans are made into soups, salads, veggie patties, and flavored with southwestern spices, Mexican spices,Indian spices, or Moroccan spices.

EXPLORE your local health food store and take some time to look at different products you normally wouldn’t take the time tvegetarian-grain-varietyo research.

For example, many people are very familiar with brown rice and know that it is healthier than white rice. But did you know there are other healthy grains you can substitute for brown rice? Grains like amaranth, quinoa, millet, and barley each have unique flavors that can add a pleasant twist to the flavor of your dish.

Collect some cultural spices and herbs and you will make amazing dishes I know you will enjoy. I don’t like buying recipe books because I only use 10% of the recipes since I don’t like or need most of them.

What I do instead is go online and search a particular dish I want to make and sometimes I combine a couple of recipes and omit some ingredients I don’t think will go well together. I end up with a really great dish. If it is a big success then I will print out the recipe and put it in my 3 ring notebook with the other super awesome recipes I’ve acquired – that I will then share with you here.


Your friend,

Kardena Pauza

Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans for weight loss

21 Comments Leave a Comment

Comment by jesse
2010-01-19 02:50:59

Kardena thank you. I read, follow and practice everything you post on your blog. You’ve truly helped me clean up my diet and for that I’m grateful.

I knew about quinoa but I did not know about amaranth, millet and I’ve been reading more about the benefits of barley. I’m looking forward to more recipes from you including these grains.

Thank you Kardena.



Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-02-14 03:31:53

You are welcome. I’ll make some grain recipes for you.

Comment by Anh
2010-01-19 03:10:16

I’m not a Vegetarian or a Vegan. But I definitely learned a lot. Thanks Kardena! I definitely will share this with friends.

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-04-05 17:03:16

Thanks for sharing Anh. I hope you’ll try out some of my recipes…you never know, they may get you inspired to become a vegetarian!


Comment by Janet Kent
2010-01-19 05:29:32

Great advice that I always take on board. I love this site and it is always my first port of call when I am on line. Thank you for sharing.
Jan Kent (Scotland UK)

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-02-14 03:32:51

Thanks Jan, I’ll keep it up!

Comment by meredith
2010-01-19 15:58:48

Gelatin is actuall derived from collagen which is a gelling agent and is derived from proteins in animal bones and skin. It is not technically derived from their fat – not that that makes much difference in the vegetarian point of view but I just thought the science behind the food ingredient should be accurate.

Comment by Gudni
2010-01-20 01:43:20

I didnt know about the whey. Very interesting.

Comment by Patrick
2010-01-20 20:26:18

Uh huh.. so you are saying there is nothing to eat. Is that it? Hehehe! Geez those foods you say I can’t eat makes up my entire diet. Wow that was very educational! You are da’bomb! Uh yah.. Thanx Kardena!

Comment by miguel villegas
2010-01-20 20:37:10

As usual great information. Thanks

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-01-23 04:04:05

Hi Jesse,
Awesome! You are welcome. I’m glad I could share new and exciting knowledge.
Keep rockin!

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-01-23 04:06:51

Hello Anh,
Yes, I am not here to convert anyone to being vegetarian or vegan. Everybody has their own path, BUT this information can definitely benefit anyone on any path!
We are spreading the word of vibrant health, the best gift you can give anyone.

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-01-23 04:08:19

Hello Janet,
Thanks for bringing me into your day! We are what we surround ourselves with. Surround yourself with what you want to attract into your life!

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-01-23 04:10:08

Thanks Meredith for the clarification, yep it’s still all yucky!

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-01-23 04:11:19

Surprise, surprise!

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-01-23 04:12:21

Hey Patrick,
You are so funny! See you at the gym in the morning! Get ready for a kick butt workout!
Drill Sergeant, Kardena

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-01-23 04:12:52

Thanks Miguel!
Gotta keep it great quality!

Comment by kelly
2010-01-26 02:25:25

Potato chips may contain bromate too! Thanks – great list!

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-02-14 03:33:42

Thanks Kelly!

Comment by drellie
2010-03-21 15:48:27

Thank you for the good info. Have started on a raw diet this week. Feel great!

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-04-05 17:09:45

Awesome! keep me posted on your progress with the raw diet. I’d love to know how you like it. And keep checking back here for more recipes for you to try on your raw diet!


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